Day Thirty-Three: The Gateway Arch, Barbecue and Clarksville, Tennessee

These last days of our travels will be filled with more driving and less sightseeing. This morning we let our bodies wake us up and we were on the road by 9:30 am heading into St. Louis. We wanted to see the Gateway Arch; but unfortunately due to covid we were unable to go up in the Arch to get the amazing thirty mile views. Will tried going in to the visitor center to get us a pamphlet since it’s a registered National Park and even to go in the door you needed a reservation time, which we did not have.

Since we didn’t have a pamphlet to learn more about The Gateway Arch I looked up its history:
Gateway Arch National Park, formerly known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial until 2018, is an American national park located in St. Louis, Missouri, the starting point of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis’ role in the Westward Expansion of the Unites States during the nineteenth century. The park is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson’s role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse. The Gateway Arch is a 630- foot monument clad in 43,000 tons of concrete and steel, creating an iconic arc 63 stories high with the distance between its two legs is equal to its height. It is the world’s tallest arch, and the world’s tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere.

To say it was impressive is an understatement. None of us thought it was going to be as amazing in person as it was! And the park setting surrounding the Gateway Arch was beautiful! Our friends told us exactly where to go so we could get not only get the Gateway Arch in our picture, but also the Old Courthouse.

Off in the distance
I’m learning to perfect the selfie in Anna Cate’s cup holder on her wheelchair!
I love how you can see part of the arch from this angle leaving a surprise for you around the corner!
On the park grounds with the Gateway Arch in the background!
Walking to get closer to the arch
Look how wide the base is!
Up close selfie with the arch

After walking around the park area we decided it would be fun to get St. Louis barbecue for lunch. We asked our St. Louis friends for some recommendations and picked Pappy’s. All restaurants in the area are in Phase Two so we had to order online and pick up via drive thru system. We had a RV picnic right outside the restaurant and it was delicious! I am not a big barbecue fan (Will and Eli are), so turkey or chicken are always a good option at places like these. And the turkey was outstanding! The beef brisket wasn’t as cooked as I usually like beef brisket to be if I am going to eat it, but our barbecue connoisseurs thought it was great! Eli is a big rib fan and his half rack was gone in no time! We all agreed their crinkle cut fries were amazing too.

RV picnic (briskets and turkey) wrapped under bread!

By 12:30pm we were on our way to our next stop for the night. Knowing we were close to another two states Will took a little detour so we could add them to our states list for this trip. I typically don’t ‘add’ them unless we stop in the state for a purpose, but nonetheless we went through Indiana and Kentucky. In Indiana we surprised the kids with a stop at Culver’s which is known for their custard. They are out of Wisconsin and it looks like they are slowly making their way East! Three of us (Anna Cate and I split one) got malts and Betsie got a concrete mixer. It was delicious and you could definitely tell it was fresh!

I’m pretty sure this is how the kids spend the majority of their days driving, or rather ‘riding’ in the RV!

Our RV stop for the night was right outside Hopkinsville, Kentucky in Clarksville, Tennessee. When we pulled in around 5:30pm it was pouring down rain, but thankfully it didn’t last too long as we were grilling out for dinner. After the rain stopped and dinner was cooking Anna Cate and I went for a walk around to check out the RV Park. It’s cute and not too big, which I am finding we prefer the smaller RV parks. The bathhouses are extremely clean and the staff is very personable. (As I was typing this, Will walked back in from the showers and said. “Wow, those were great showers”. I think these are one of the best our whole trip!).

Sign as you drive in
I love vintage campers
Back of the office/store and bathhouse
Our site
Front view

I have found with all the extra covid precautions of plexiglass and masks, people are still very bubbly, which is great to see! Now we need to start looking people in the eyes more as this is all we can see. I have always said, Anna Cate speaks through her eyes, and now with masks on that is the only way we will see people’s true expressions.

We enjoyed bacon ranch grilled chicken with a vegetable blend from Trader Joe’s for dinner. The kids were a little too excited this evening, but in all honesty I think we are all hitting the RV wall! We know the end is near and we are getting antsy.

The two of them are up to something!

At the end of our trip there will be two posts, one where I will interview all of us so you can hear from the whole crew on the experience. And the second, where I answer any and all questions you may have pertaining to RV travel or any destinations we went to. If you have a question or questions leave them in the comments, email me or text me and I will be happy to answer them for you. It’s easier to answer everyone’s questions at one time and that way I don’t forget either! We also have a place on our Instastory on Instagram for you to ask questions!

Two more nights in the RV, I can’t believe the adventure is almost over!!!

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